Lighting can make the world of difference to your home, and choosing the right lighting scheme is an important decision. In this guide, we look at the cost to install downlights – also known as spotlights.
Downlights are one of the most popular lighting choices for British homeowners. Installing downlights is a standard job for an electrician and can add a sleek, modern look to any room. Previously common halogen bulbs have been replaced by a more energy-efficient LED bulb as the new industry standard.
How much does it cost to install downlights?
The cost of fitting downlights will depend on the amount of lights you want and how accessible the existing wiring is. On average the cost to install downlights is around £47.50 per downlight, including supply and installation.
For a whole room of 6-8 downlights, you’re looking at a supply and installation cost of about £275. That price may go up if the electrician needs to lift floorboards to access wiring, or if there’s a complex wiring system needed.
|Item||Range - Low||Range - High||Average cost|
|Cost per downlight (supply and installation)||£30||£65||£47.50|
|Room (6-8 downlights)||£100||£450||£275|
Factors affecting the cost of fitting downlights
In most cases, fitting downlights can be a straightforward job but there are a number of factors that can affect the total price you pay:
- Condition of existing wiring (upgrades or fixes will cost more)
- Access to the ceiling cavity
- Size of room
- Number of lights
- Location of lights
- Type and quality of lights
- Any prep work (rewiring, drilling, etc)
- Where you live
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Nowadays, the standard lighting for downlights is LED not halogen bulbs. The cost of installing LED downlights tends to be similar to regular downlights, but the cost of the bulbs is quite different. Halogen bulbs are much cheaper to buy per bulb, but they have poor energy efficiency compared to LED bulbs.
LED bulbs usually cost around £20 per bulb, but they come with a major cost saving. Not only do LED bulbs use a lot less energy than halogen bulbs, but they also last at least 7-8 years.
If no additional wiring is needed, installing LED downlights is a pretty easy job and an electrician should be able to do it all in one day. Should there be any wiring issues discovered, then this will increase the time and cost of the installation.
If you’re unsure about the current wiring in the property, speak to a local electrician to do an inspection and give you accurate prices for the job.
One other benefit of installing LED downlights is that the lighting quality is often much better than halogen lighting. It tends to be softer, instantly bright and has a dimming feature to provide excellent ‘mood lighting’.
Benefits of LED lighting
- LED bulbs use up to 85% less energy than halogen or traditional bulbs
- LED lighting lasts up to 15,000 hours
- Enhanced brightness and dimmable
- Low temperature and cooler environment
Think about the space
Lighting is a key component of any interior design scheme and, as such, should be given careful consideration. Choosing the right type of light for a room can really enhance the mood of the space. Equally, getting the wrong lighting can have an adverse effect on the space.
Get professional advice
We recommend speaking to your local lighting specialists to see what options are out there. Discuss the details of your lighting project and the spaces concerned. Ask for their professional advice and a price list for the different types of downlights (or any other lighting types they recommend).
Low energy savings
LED and other low energy lighting solutions may come at a higher cost upfront, but the savings can far outweigh the initial price. Their long life and energy efficiency will save you a lot of money over their lifetime. Plus, they now come in all sorts of styles so they can fit almost any lighting scheme.
Can I install downlights myself?
As with any home improvement project that involves electricity, we recommend leaving it to the professionals. Installing downlights often involves drilling holes in the ceiling, feeding wiring and connecting to the light switches. Poorly installed lighting is a major fire risk so you’ll need a qualified electrician to carry out the work.
Useful downlights checklist
- Before beginning any electrical work have an electrician check that your electrics are all in good working order.
- Speak to local lighting experts for professional advice and accurate costs.
- Shop around for fair and competitive prices to install downlights.
- Always hire a qualified electrician who’s accredited by an official body such as NAPIT, NICEIC or ELECSA.
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